Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe, Portsmouth NH

ttp://jumpinjays.com/menu.html

The Food Hounds consider Jumpin’ Jay’s a plate to remember.  Why? The fish, of course.  They have a great assortment on the Fresh Daily Catch menu available prepared your way with an assortment of sauces; gourmet salads that aren’t your standard Cobb, and raw bar choices and other items you’d expect to find on a menu in a NE seacoast establishment.

Our Selections

Petite Filet:  I selected the crab cake for an appetizer and grilled swordfish for the entree.  Two breaded and fried cakes the size of large sand dollars  were delivered with a sweet tomato and corn salsa which was quite probably the best part of the plate.  I do have an overly sensitive nose for fishiness and in this case it was in overdrive and detracted from my total enjoyment of the dish.  The swordfish was served with the sauce sampler, one of my favorite things about the menu.   Why choose one when you can have them all?  Mandarin Sesame Glaze with Wasabi Aioli (which is not for me but T Dogerosa puts down like a shot of whiskey), Peach & Papaya Salsa, and Lobster Veloute are a few of our favorites.  I love this approach because it sextuples the pleasure and feels like 6 different dishes.  They also come in handy if the fish is a bit on the dry side, as this one was.  The Best In Show on the plate were grilled yellow beets with balsamic reduction. Pretty delicate, not mushy, cooked just right, firm. The fish leaned on simple mashed potatoes,  with asparagus cooked well, with firmness and a bit of crunch.   My dessert selection was panna cotta with a home made ginger snap cookie, whipped cream, and a blueberry port reduction sauce.  The sauce was very tart, with whipped cream so light it wasn’t really there, but the panna cotta was kind of chunky.  Overall rating for me,  3 Paws out of 4.

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T Dogerosa:  I selected the tuna tartare and fish curry.  The tartare was Yellowfin tuna that looked like a block of  neopolitan ice cream and tasted just as sweet.  Perfectly ripened avacado was paired with the exceptional quality tuna.  The coconut curry emphasizes the fish, and large and exceptional pieces of scallop, shrimp and haddock.  But the sauce doesn’t take a back seat.  It’s a well blended mix of red curry spicy-ness and coconut creaminess.  Dinner was topped with a White Heron Tea, licorice mint.  Fantastic taste although in this case you can’t teach an old dog a new trick.  Jumpin’ Jay’s has a habit of putting hot tea in a cold carafe with a lukewarm pot as an inevitable result. Nevertheless an exceptional dining evening for T Dogerosa.  Rating: the highest, 4 paws.

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